How To Reach Out To Influencers For Brand Collaboration

Jun 8, 2020 | Advice for Brands, Influencer Marketing 101

If you want the bite sized video version of this blog post, head over to THIS IGTV episode!
Brands, I know what you’re thinking… Approaching Influencers with massive followings is super daunting and you don’t want to lose out on the opportunity to work with them. But you have no idea what to say to break through the noise of all the other brands that are also pitching them right and left. You have no idea how much they charge and while you don’t want to accidentally make a low-ball offer, you also don’t want to blow your whole marketing budget with an a payout that’s too high for the actual return. Don’t worry, we’re going to break it down for you today to help your brand get noticed and your products picked up by an influencer with a lot of reach.

Check for Alignment

It can appear that working with a super big Influencer is the best approach to getting your brand in front of lots of new people and the dangling carrot of legitimacy that a big name can offer your growing business… but of course, it’s not that simple. First things first, make sure the Mega-Influencer you’re looking to work with is actually in alignment with your brand. Think about your ideal customers, your brand values, and the way you want your products to be represented. Make sure you’ve been following them on all their platforms consistently before reaching out for collaboration to make sure the messages they’re sending align with your business ethics and to avoid any horrible PR nightmares in the future (i.e. You don’t want to work with an influencer that may have made a malicious or socially thoughtless comment in the past that blows up, goes viral, and risks tarnishing your brand in the process). I’m not saying that working with influencers who speak on controversial issues is necessarily a bad thing, it’s just important to consider who you associate your brand with.
Secondly, think about how you’ll justify the cost of a Mega-Influencer and whether that will be the best move. In other words, will spending the big bucks be worth it? Just because an influencer may be able to get the word out about your product to a vast pool of people doesn’t automatically mean their audience will receive it well or that they will become customers. The audience that mega-influencers have are usually not as specific and targeted as the followings of smaller influencers, which means that there’s another layer of noise your brand must break through when it is introduced to such a large group of people who have very diverse product interests.

Make A Move

Contrary to popular thought, large Influencers are not untouchable and you can definitely reach out via a good ol’ fashioned DM. It’s polite to ask them if they prefer to converse via DM or email and if there is someone else you could talk to (their manager or agent) for a possible collaboration. If they don’t respond to your DM within a couple of days, shoot straight for an email. Don’t get starstruck or anything, just act natural and explain that you’d love to work with them in a way that helps them feel like your offer is not one-sided and is mutually beneficial.
Keep in mind that because of their larger presence, they may even have multiple filters via email that you’ll want to bypass. A quick tip to help ensure your email is seen is to put COLLABORATION somewhere in your subject line. This way, it will get filtered down to the right person that’ll get back to you.

What The Heck To Say To An Influencer

If you don’t know exactly what to say to an influencer for potential collaboration, it’s okay. There are many different opinions on how you should reach out. Ultimately, it comes back down to staying true to your Brand’s values and how they fit in with the platform of your potential influencer partner (how to present what you stand for, what your products are/do/offer, and what your customer promise is). This is all well and good, but boiling it down to a couple of sentences that communicate why it’s a good fit can be tricky. Here’s what we recommend:
The most important thing you need to include in your email is exactly what you want. Be clear and concise about your offer to work together because you may not get another chance to grab their attention. You want to keep the collaboration offer a little bit open ended to make sure the Influencer still feels that there is creative freedom and room for input but you also want to be to-the-point about it. Luckily, we’ve taken the guesswork out of this whole process for you and we have a *drumroll please* AMAZING PITCH TEMPLATE for you. You can customize it for different influencers you’re looking to pitch to and it’ll help you get all the right information into your email while keeping it concise enough to incite intrigue and get you a reply.
Some things you’ll find in the template are:
  • How to tell them you like their content and complement them in standout way
  • How to tell them you think your brand is a good fit for collaboration and why
  • Why you think they would love your products and why their audience would, too
  • How to communicate what you can offer them and what exactly you expect in return
In case you missed it, we have EVEN MORE info on how to pitch an influencer for a partnership with your brand in this post: The Art of Pitching Influencers.

But What About An Influencer in the Professional World?

If the kind of Influencer you’re looking to work with has a presence in the corporate world or in a professional business capacity, you’ll want to change up your approach a little bit. To be more strategic about this kind of influencer, first meet them where they are. Hint hint, it’s likely not on Instagram, but rather on LinkedIn. LinkedIn as a platform allows you a bit of an advantage that you can utilize when you’re trying to connect. LinkedIn is really good about connecting people with those in multiple degrees of separation. To put it simply, the algorithm pushes you to connect with friends of friends of friends and expand your network. This means that if you can find someone you know, even remotely, that has connection with the influencer you want to pitch to, you’re miles ahead of other Brands that are vying for their attention. Think about how this works in real life: you have a friend of a friend who knows someone influential and you ask for an introduction, that Influencer is a lot more likely to hear you out and you’re automatically on their radar because they associate you with someone they already know and trust. Networking is very powerful and using it with your pitch strategy is always a good idea.


At the end of the day, this is a pitch and is similar to writing a cover letter to explain who you are, what you do, and why the reader should care about what you have to offer. This goes the other way around as well. When Influencers reach out to Brands, the same is true- the pitch needs to paint an accurate picture of them and why working together is beneficial for everyone involved. The most successful influencers are busy busy people, which means that it’s helpful to get as much info into your first initial email as possible to eliminate a lot of back and forth.
While you can sharpen your communication skills to effectively reach the people you’re looking to work with, do keep in mind that being as authentic as possible with your intentions is not second rate and is just as important as the success you could garner from a collaboration. This is a long game of true connection and partnership in business! Remember that this is not only about strategy. It’s about building real relationships with people and helping each other in this industry. Keeping all these tips in mind will help you come across with the right tone and will help set your Brand up for success. Once again, here’s that golden TEMPLATE for you to help you on your pitching journey!